La Castellane in Marseille, a “clean place”? “We are moving forward so that it becomes so,” replies Prisca Thévenot

Gauthier Delomez (comments collected by Jacques Serais) / Photo credits: Andrea Savorani Neri / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP
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5:00 p.m., March 20, 2024

Government spokesperson Prisca Thévenot defended the “XXL square net” operation, in force in the city of La Castellane in Marseille to try to put an end to drug trafficking. At the end of the council of ministers, at Europe 1, Prisca Thévenot stressed that the State was “moving forward” so that this district becomes a real “clean place”.

The day after Emmanuel Macron’s surprise visit to the Phoenician city, Prisca Thévenot, government spokesperson, wanted to defend the “clear place” operation in the Council of Ministers this Wednesday, and indicated that the government was maintaining its goals. “The announced continuation of ‘clear square’ operations responds to an intractable and firm desire of the State to ensure respect for republican order throughout the national territory”, assures the government spokesperson, adding that “not not a single centimeter of land will be left to delinquents and traffickers.”

“We are moving forward so that” Castellane “becomes” a clean place

For the moment, the results of the operation remain mixed: only 22 kilos of narcotics were seized, a meager loot while 900 police officers and gendarmes were deployed on Monday, and 800 on Tuesday, the day of the visit of the head of the State and its Ministers of the Interior and Justice. In total, 119 people were arrested, most of them drug dealers.

Does this make the city of La Castellane, the scene of police operations, a real “clearance” against drug trafficking? “I think you have the answer to your question”, replies Prisca Thévenot to Europe 1. “We are not going to start being hypocritical here. We are moving forward so that it becomes so”, continues the spokesperson, kicking into touch on a possible precise deadline.

“It’s progressing. Is it a long-term fight? Yes,” agrees Prisca Thévenot. “Is this a fight that we have taken in hand? Yes. We must tirelessly continue. We must not capitulate, and Marseille was a good example of this yesterday (Tuesday)”, she explains to Europe 1.

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